Anyone who has spent time in the relatively contained swath of Klamath Mountain stand-out peaks known as the Trinity Alps is well aware the range is a gem among gems. Rising between the Coast Range and the Shasta-Lassen stretch of the Cascades in northern California, the Trinities are a landscape of imposing rugged alpine, lush forested valleys, serene glacial lakes and plummeting cascading creeks. With a centerpiece of soaring granite ridgelines more reminiscent of the Sierra Nevada than surrounding mountains, the Trinities can seem almost out of place. Fortunately this is no illusion; the Trinity Alps is real and raw country. Comprised of sub-ranges referred to in their Red, White and Green clusterings, the names reflect the mix of igneous, granite and metamorphic geology thrusting upward here, along with the alp-like verdant forests that blanket the lower slopes and valleys.
Considered a remote and rugged wilderness, the Trinity Alps offer prepared hikers recreational opportunities in a wonderland that is often overshadowed by the nearby Cascades and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Managed under the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, a network of maintained trails ascend steep watersheds up the likes of Canyon Creek, Stuart Fork, Swift Creek and Coffee Creek, yielding access to picturesque lakes and alpine basins. Where trails end, countless adventures await intrepid alpine ramblers among the 8,000- to 9,000-foot ridges.
To help you get acquainted with all that the Trinity Alps have to offer, we’ve organized a short list of some of our favorite hikes and backcountry excursions of the area below. If you do get bit by the Trinity bug and find yourself exploring there soon, please respect this unique and fragile ecosystem and practice Leave No Trace principles when out in the backcountry.